Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction, full of happy queer stories from all over the world and and throughout the course of human history. We’ve already brought our first and second (award-winning!) volumes to life through the support of the Kickstarter community... and now we’re back with a third!
Volume 3 of Dates follows the same basic rules as our other volumes:
- All stories are set before 1965
- All the main characters are queer
- And there are no tragic endings
And this volume? This volume is about adventure.
This time around you’ll follow queer characters from across the globe on thrilling train chases, down dark alleys, and across rough terrain! Our contributors have created 21 comics, 17 illustrations, and 3 short prose stories full of excitement, anticipation, and, yes, romance to form one incredible 300+ page volume, complete with black-and-white interiors and full-color illustrations. And, just like our previous volumes, none of the stories have mature content and are totally suitable for pre-teen readers.
We’ve gathered an incredible crew for Dates 3, including a few familiar talents and a ton of fresh faces! Zora Gilbert and Cat Parra are still on as organizers and editors, and we couldn’t be more proud of the work our amazing crew has done. In Volume 3, we’ve got:
- A D’Amico (Kid the Adult, Spitball 2)
- Ahueonao (FTL, Y’all)
- Alan Capes & Shauntae Ball (Beyond 2)
- Amet (Valor 2, Rain Dance Zine)
- Cat Parra (Beyond 2) & JJ Barnes (Dates 2)
- Fawn Prince (Dates 1)
- G.C. Houle (Score!, Starcross'd) & Taylor Robin (Never Satisfied)
- Grace Teoh (Dirty Diamonds, Planetside Anthology)
- Isabelle Melancon & Megan Lavey-Heaton (Valor, Namesake)
- Kelsey Leigh (Equivalence Zine)
- Jessica Treviño (Dates 2)
- Lauren Dombrowski (Tabula Idem) & Cait Kay
- Makkine (Chicago Maroon)
- Marie-Anne Dt (Dates 2)
- Meg Coates (Dogx, ecosynthetic)
- Robby Barrett (Saturn's Call, Mine!) & Joe Corallo (Saturn's Call, Mine!)
- Sarah Webb (Kochab) & Paloma Hernando (The Sun and the Wayward Wind)
- Shaina Lu (Heartwood, Shout Out) & Sunny Ôchumuk (Strange Waters, Shout Out)
- Sonia Liao (You Were Here, Helena Rose)
- Sparklenaut (Lilies Anthology) & Basalisk (Lilies Anthology)
- Anastasia Longoria
- Caroline Dougherty (1001 Knights, Malaise)
- Fanfi (Dates 2)
- Haeji Lee (Lilies Anthology)
- M. Liu (Manthology, Gothic America)
- Michelle Gruppetta (Wayward Sisters, Dates 2)
- Ravi Teixeira
- Schpog (Jazam)
- Sera Bell (Dearly Beloved)
- Shannon Kao (Lilies Anthology)
- stc019 (Group Chat)
Short Stories by:
- Lany, with illustrations by Beckett Thornber
- Paige S. Allen (Women Write About Comics, Bookmarked), with illustrations by Telênia Albuquerque (Amazonomachy)
- Svetla Rose (Gothic Tales of Haunted Love), with illustrations by Sunmi (The Sun and the Wayward Wind, Zodiac!)
With a cover by the ever-illustrious Erica Chan, a bonus comic by Cat Parra & Erica Chan, and a Kickstarter-exclusive postcard set by Margins alumni Ayanna Johnson, Dante Luiz, Grace Park, Imas Esther, Ingram, Noella Whitney, and Val Wise.
All our comics are complete, and Zora is hard at work laying out the book. Our goal in this campaign is to raise money to print Dates 3 as a 6” x 9”, 300+ page, perfect-bound paperback book, including full color comic covers & illustrations, and to pay our contributors.
We’ve already paid our team an on-completion rate of $20 per page, but we need to raise funds to complete their full rate of $50 per page… plus potential Kickstarter bonuses!
In our funding goal of $26,000:
- $8,430 will go towards paying our contributors
- $9,330 will go towards proofing and printing the books
- $3,465 will go towards shipping books to backers
- $1,600 will go towards paying for and shipping other backer rewards
- $2,600 will go towards Kickstarter fees
- $575 will be wiggle room
As usual, the more we raise, the more we’re able to pay our contributors. Extra funds will go towards improving the book, increasing creator rates, and printing more books.
You know the deal! The more money we make, the more we can pay our contributors. This round, each stretch goal is accompanied by a contributor rate increase of $10 per page.
$30,000: Spot gloss & contributor pay increase! UNLOCKED!
We’re adding that sweet spot gloss to the cover for an extra shine, and each creative team will be paid an additional $10/page (for a total of $60/page).
$37,000: Bonus comic printed & contributor pay increase!
We’ll print The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge, Cat Parra & Erica Chan’s 26-page bonus comic featuring the ladies of the cover of Dates 1, and send it out with all physical orders that include the bonus comic! Also, each creative team will be paid an additional $20/page (for a total of $70/page).
$42,000 & $49,000: Contributor pay increases!
At $42,000, each creative team will be paid an additional $30/page (for a total of $80/page).
At $49,000, each creative team will be paid an additional $40/page (for a total of $90/page).
$56,000: Enamel pin & contributor pay increase!
Holy cow! We’ll manufacture a brand new Dates 3 enamel pin and include it in every physical order. Also, each creative team will be paid an additional $50/page (for a total of $100/page). More details about the pin will be revealed when we hit the $47,000 goal!
It wouldn’t be a Dates campaign without cool extra swag! This year, we’ve got two great bonuses and a whole bunch o’ bundles, just for you.
Seven Dates alumni have come together to create a set of seven illustrated postcards, each showcasing a different continent (yep, even Antarctica)! The postcards are 4” x 6”, full color, and will be printed on nice, thick cardstock. They’ll even have postcard detailing on the back, so you can send them to your loved ones… if you don’t hoard them all for yourself.
And, of course, we have The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge, a 26-page digital bonus comic staring the ladies from the cover of Dates 1 on their own exciting adventure! Written by Cat Parra and drawn by Dates cover artist Erica Chan, this is the biggest bonus comic we’ve ever done and reveals the tale our very favorite ladies’ first meeting.
You can also bundle your copy of Dates 3 with copies of each of the previous volumes, in digital or in paperback!
But that’s not all! We’ve put out a whole pile of pins & comics over the years, so keep an eye out in the rewards for publications like Queer Looks (an illustration zine of queer fashion throughout the ages) and Vampire Emmy and the Garbage Girl (a supernatural romance from the minds and hands of Pat Shand and Roberta Ingranata).
And now, the tiers:
$10: FOOT TRAVEL
THE PDF! You get the full, DRM-free PDF of Dates 3, and your name on the acknowledgements page!
THE DIGITAL BONUS COLLECTION! You get the PDF, your name on the acknowledgements page, and the digital Dates 3 bonus collection, including a PDF collection of the postcard illustrations and The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge!
THE BOOK! You get the PDF, your name on the acknowledgements page, and a real, physical copy of Dates 3!
THE DIGITAL CATCH-UP BUNDLE! You get PDFs of Dates 1, Dates 2, and Dates 3; your name on the acknowledgements page; and the digital Dates 3 bonus collection!
BOOK & BONUS! You get the PDF, your name on the acknowledgements page, a paperback copy of Dates 3, the postcard set, and The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge!
DOUBLE UP! Get the PDF, the postcard set, The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge, and two copies of the paperback—one for you, and one for your favorite adventuring partner!
THE RETAILER LEVEL! Five copies of Dates 3 at wholesale value. This tier is for retailers and libraries only!
THE PHYSICAL CATCH-UP BUNDLE! You get PDFs and paperback copies of Dates 1, Dates 2, and Dates 3; your name on the acknowledgements page; the postcard set; and The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge!
THE QUEER LOOKS BUNDLE! You get the PDF, your name on the acknowledgements page, a paperback copy of Dates 3, the postcard set, The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge, and the full set of Queer Looks merch (including the PDF, the zine, and all four pins)!
THE FULL COLLECTION! You get everything Margins has ever done! PDFs and paperbacks of Dates 1, Dates 2, and Dates 3; the postcard set; The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge; the full set of Queer Looks merch; and Vampire Emmy and the Garbage Girl!
(Want to add a commission from one of the artists below onto DIRIGIBLE? First, know that we love you; then, increase your pledge by $75 USD and message us and we’ll note you down!)
$125: OCEAN LINER
COMMISSION! You get PDF and paperback copies of Dates 3, the postcard set, The Elusive Mr Vanderbridge, and your name on the acknowledgements page, PLUS one of our incredible contributors will draw your original character or historical figure in the period-appropriate finery of your choice!
We're excited to be partnering with Crowd Ox for post-campaign management and add ons! That means that if you want any configuration of stuff that isn't already bundled into a backer level (physical postcards added to a digital tier? just adding on Dates 1 or 2, but not both?) you'll be able to do so after the campaign as part of your backer survey!
Dates and Margins wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support of our community, and without the innovations of the folks who have come before us in the indie anthology scene. Our thanks goes out to:
- Estelle Tian, for our amazing video (hire Estelle)
- Spike Trotman, for pioneering the artist bonus system (adapted in this campaign)
- Leigh Luna, for designing the Dates logo
- Kirsten Spira, for support and legal handholding
- Virginia, for the support & guidance
- Lewis Gilbert
- Erica Chan
- Linda Camillo, for designing the Margins Logo
- The Friendzone, for all the hijinks and help over the years, and for giving Zora a home in Pittsburgh
Kickstarter Video Music:
- "Call to Adventure" by Kevin MacLeod
Risks and challenges
All the comics are finished and we’ve got printers lined up for the books and postcards! All that’s left to do is put the finishing touches on the book and send it to print. There’s always a risk of delays during printing and fulfillment, but this ain’t our first rodeo and we know what to expect.
We’ll be keeping backers updated through the whole production process, so If any delays do occur we’ll make sure to notify backers as soon as we can.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)